How to Clean Pruners


Pruners come in many shapes and sizes, from small hand pruners to long handled loppers. They aid gardeners in maintaining healthy trees, shrubs and flowers throughout the season and should be cleaned and cared for properly. Clean pruners on a regular basis to avoid ruining the tool with rust and infecting plants with diseases the pruners may carry. If you clean your pruners well every few weeks, they will stay sharp and helpful for years to come.

Step 1

Remove any mud or dirt from your pruners with water and a wire brush.

Step 2

Fill a bucket with warm water about halfway full. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of liquid soap as you fill the bucket to get a foamy lather.

Step 3

Place the pruners in the bucket and scrub them with a cloth until all grim, sap and other unsavory elements are removed.

Step 4

Dry the pruners with a clean towel.

Step 5

Wipe down the pruners with alcohol or bleach to disinfect them.

Step 6

Spray WD-40 or another lubricant oil spray on the metal parts of the pruners to help keep them in good working order.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not allow rust to form on your pruners. If rust has formed, scrub it with a steel wool cloth to remove it.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach or alcohol
  • Liquid soap
  • Lubricant oil spray
  • Wire brush
  • Bucket
  • Cloth
  • Clean towel
  • Steel wool


  • Master Gardener Foundation: Basic Gardening Tools
  • North Carolina State University: Winter Tool Care

Who Can Help

  • University of Georgia: Take Care of Garden Tools
Keywords: clean pruners, disinfect pruners, pruners

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance for over a year and her focus' are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Hollan taught English in Japan. She has a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.